Solar-plus-storage powers urban elevator in Italy


From pv magazine France

In the Italian town of Cuneo, located in the northern region of Piedmont, Italian PV module manufacturer FuturaSun has installed a solar-plus-storage system to power a panoramic elevator.

The pilot project is part of the Store4HUC program which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and is the first in a series of four to be developed in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. The aim is to develop renewable energy production systems with sustainable storage in historic city centers across Europe.

In Cuneo, the newly equipped lift consists of an inclined system which climbs 28 meters to connects a car park to the city center. The elevator is powered not only by the solar array and the batteries but also by the energy produced by the elevator itself while it is moving, through gravitational storage.

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The 8.84 kWp photovoltaic installation was connected to the grid in October and was deployed along the lift path. It comprises 26 FuturaSun Next Pro 340 W monocrystalline photovoltaic panels measuring 1,684×1,002mm with 120 half-cut multi-busbar PERC cells, for a total surface area of ​​45 square meters.

According to a FuturaSun press release, this initiative is one of the first at national and European level “to optimize the use of energy resources in a fixed-location transport system.” The plant is expected to receive some remuneration from Italian energy agency the Gestore dei Servizi Energetici.

The new system, a ‘sustainable public mobility experience,' reduces the energy consumption of the elevator, ensuring both reduced public spending and lower carbon dioxide emissions.

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